Khmer language: beginners' questions

Have questions or resources regarding Khmer Culture? This forum is all about the Kingdom of Cambodia's culture. Khmer language, Cambodian weddings, French influence, Cambodian architecture, Cambodian politics, Khmer customs, etc? This is the place. Living in Cambodia can cause you to experience a whole new level of culture shock, so feel free to talk about all things related to the Khmer people, and their traditions. And if you want something in Khmer script translated into English, you will probably find what you need.
kps
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Khmer language: beginners' questions

Post by kps » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:43 pm

Hi,

I hope it is OK to start a topic where I and other beginning learners of Khmer can ask questions. Like:

At the noodle shop, how do you say "dine in/take away"? I invented "nyam tini/yok tng" but how do you really say it? One guy taught me "cheroo tng" for take away, but I don't know what cheroo means.

When I want to know what meat is available, I was taught:
mean mahop sach ei class
"What meat so you have?"

What means class?

Thank you.
explorer
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Re: Khmer language: beginners' questions

Post by explorer » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:52 pm

kps wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:43 pm
When I want to know what meat is available, I was taught:
mean mahop sach ei class
"What meat so you have?"

What means class?
mian mhoep suj ai klu(s)

mian means have

mhoep means food

suj means meat

ai means what

klu(s) means some

It can be said many ways.

I would probably say:

mian suj ai

or

mian suj awai

Which is: have meat what?
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
explorer
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Re: Khmer language: beginners' questions

Post by explorer » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:14 pm

kps wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:43 pm
At the noodle shop, how do you say "dine in/take away"? I invented "nyam tini/yok tng" but how do you really say it? One guy taught me "cheroo tng" for take away, but I don't know what cheroo means.
nyaam tee ni

nyaam is eat

tee ni is here

I cant think what the other words could be. They may be different from how you have written them.

In Khmer there are over 10 words for eat. They all have different levels of respect or politeness. After you have learnt nyaam, they will use another word you dont understand. Others you are likely to hear are:

hoep

pisaa

Eat with no respect is:

see

It is mainly used when talking about animals eating. It may sometimes be used for children eating.

There are more. But these are the ones you are most likely to hear.

If you want to take the food home, you could say:

york mhoep tdoe pte

york is take (it can also mean bring, or accept)

mhoep is food

tdoe is go (td is a sound between t and d)

pte is house
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
explorer
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Re: Khmer language: beginners' questions

Post by explorer » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:18 pm

You should notice:

hoep is eat

and

mhoep is food

Cambodians normally say eat rice, not just eat. Or combine what what they are eating with the word eat.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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Re: Khmer language: beginners' questions

Post by Kammekor » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:09 pm

explorer wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:18 pm
You should notice:

hoep is eat

and

mhoep is food

Cambodians normally say eat rice, not just eat. Or combine what what they are eating with the word eat.
You should notice:

there's a zillion words for 'to eat'.

First line for me is njam, not 'hoep' (hope), because njam is common and 'hoep' (hope) is used in more polite situations.

Generally if you want to refer to eating food in Cambodia you have to say 'eat (coocked) rice', njam bai. There's a zillion words for rice too, worth keeping in mind to prevent ending up with a kilo of cooked rice instead of a kilo of grain rice. 'Bai' is cooked rice, 'angkor' is the grains you buy in the market.
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Re: Khmer language: beginners' questions

Post by Paulo » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:23 pm

Another one is if you're a seventies music fan and for example, you like Billy Joel and it also happens that you like Joan Jett, you could say I Joel Jett seventies music.
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Re: Khmer language: beginners' questions

Post by UTDTID » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:47 pm

Paulo wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:23 pm
Another one is if you're a seventies music fan and for example, you like Billy Joel and it also happens that you like Joan Jett, you could say I Joel Jett seventies music.
It took me 5seconds to get that. My khmer is getting better.
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Re: Khmer language: beginners' questions

Post by kps » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:03 pm

Thanks everyone for reading and in particular explorer and Kammekor for the explanations. I got the joke when I was informed it was a joke. :)
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Re: Khmer language: beginners' questions

Post by explorer » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:05 am

Different types of noodles also have different words.

Instant noodles are called mee.

You can ask where you are buying the noodles, what they call them.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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Re: Khmer language: beginners' questions

Post by explorer » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:12 am

If you want something else to joke with. Often when we are leaving we say see you.

see yoo in Khmer means: eat for a long time. Yoo means a long time.

You can say: knyom see chup. Which is I eat quickly.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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